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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Conservative councils more likely to allow ‘Nimbyism to get out of control’

A new report suggests that a decisive general election victory for the Conservative party this week will empower NIMBYs (Not in My Back Yard) and make it harder to build more housing.

Fresh research from Lendy, a peer to peer secured lending platform, reveals that property developers are finding it much harder to get new homes developed in areas controlled by Conservative politicians.

According to the study, areas with Conservative local authorities only granted 77% of requests for planning permission in the last 12 months, whilst Labour granted 88% of requests in authorities they control.

All of the four worst local authorities for approval rate of planning permission have Conservative MPs and councils, with eight out of the bottom 20 located in the home counties of Surrey and Essex.  

The lowest approval rate was in Maldon in Essex, followed by Spelthorne in Surrey – both areas have Conservative local authorities and Conservative MPs.

Ahead of this week’s general election, all political parties have made housing a primary political issue and set out clear strategies on how they would tackle the shortage of residential properties across the UK, which includes pledging to build significantly more new properties each year.

The existing Conservative government was panned last week for failing to meet its target of delivering 200,000 new homes a year, or anywhere near the 300,000 new properties that the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee last year recommended should be delivered each year. 

“With the government consistently missing its targets, there are a phenomenal number of homes that are simply not being built each year,” said Anthony Aitken, head of planning at Colliers International.

“We need more real homes for real people, but it seems, unless something changes, that that there will be an ongoing housing shortage throughout the rest of my career,” he added.

With the Conservative Party winning control of 11 more councils in the recent local council elections, efforts to reduce the housing shortage in the future could be hit, as planning permission may be less likely to be granted, Lendy said.

Liam Brooke, co-founder at Lendy, commented: “It is vital that MPs and politicians from all political parties do all they can to address the housing crisis, rather than providing obstacles for developers.”

He added: “Politicians can be accused of letting Nimbyism to get out of control, as they allow housing projects to be halted due to the opinion of a vocal minority.”

“It is understandable that people would be opposed to large scale building projects on their door steps- but the overall costs to local area of a new development not going ahead can be very substantial in both social and economic terms."

“Progress towards closing the housing gap is desperately needed and the result of the general election could very well determine how the housing crisis will be addressed in the future.”

Source: Department for Communities and Local Government

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